(ENGLISH) (REUTERS 3099)
"So, the bottom line is this - our objective is clear and that is to degrade and destroy ISIS so it is no longer a threat, not just to Iraq, but also to the region and to the United States."
Following U.S. President Barack Obama's pledge to destroy Islamic State on Wednesday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlined the dangers posed by the terror group.
In an interview with CNN, Hagel called IS "something we have never seen before" and added his job as secretary of Defense "is not to second-guess what may be or what's going to be."
Pointing out that Islamic State controls half of Iraq and Syria today, the U.S. defense chief said Washington will do everything possible to destroy the group's capacity to inflict harm on the American people and U.S. interests."
Earlier this week, President Obama said he would send 3-hundred-50 additional troops to Iraq to protect U.S. interests in Baghdad and in the north of the country after another American journalist was killed by Islamic State.
While a fresh battle against the extremists seems inevitable, Pentagon officials estimate the weapons, fuel and other expenses are costing the U.S. around 225 million dollars a month.
And that could be a difficult challenge for Obama, who now has to reverse one of the key tenets of his two presidential campaigns that money once spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would be re-directed to "nation-building at home."
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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